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Sherri Papini’s family are blasting police for arresting her in front of her children over charges of ‘faking her own kidnapping’.

Family members of a California mother accused of faking a 22-day kidnapping slammed police for “ambushing” her in front of her children when she was arrested on Thursday.

Sherri Papini, 39, was accused of lying to federal investigators about her kidnapping in 2016 and fraudulently receiving $30,000 from the state Victims’ Compensation Agency.

Sherri Papini, 39, was accused of lying to federal investigators about her kidnapping in 2016

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Sherri Papini, 39, was accused of lying to federal investigators about her kidnapping in 2016
She was arrested on Thursday in front of her two children

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She was arrested on Thursday in front of her two children

The mother-of-two disappeared while jogging on November 2, 2016, sparking a widespread search involving multiple police departments and the FBI.

She was found by motorists on the side of the road about 150 miles from her home in Redding 22 days later on Thanksgiving Day.

Emaciated and bound, Papini claimed to investigators that she was kidnapped at gunpoint by two Hispanic women and even provided the FBI with descriptions of the couple for a composite sketch.

Arrests were never made in the case, and authorities struggled to identify a motive for the kidnapping.

Police have now claimed Papini fabricated the entire ordeal, with DNA evidence suggesting she was actually staying with an ex-boyfriend for the 22 days she believed went missing.

The ex-boyfriend reportedly admitted the joke and Papini was taken into custody on Thursday.

“DRAMATIC” ARREST

In a statement to The Sun, Papini’s family criticized the authorities for arresting her in front of her two children.

“We love Sherri and are appalled at the way law enforcement dramatically and needlessly mugged her in front of her children this afternoon,” the statement began.

“If requested, Sherri would have complied fully and come to the police station, as she has done on several occasions, where this could have been handled more appropriately.”

The family also lashed out at the police for attempting to pit Papini and her husband Keith against each other during their investigation.

They allege that such efforts “make empty threats to publicly embarrass them and other behavior that was less than professional.”

“We are puzzled by several aspects of the charges and hope for clarification in the coming days,” they added.

When reached by phone by The Sun, Papini’s sister, Sheila Koester, declined to elaborate on the statement, but added that the family would share more information in the near future.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office has not yet responded to a request for comment on Papini’s family’s claims.

UNVIEWED CLAIMS

Her kidnapping claims have long drawn skepticism, though she has given authorities full accounts of what happened.

Papini disappeared on November 2, 2016 from family members who feared she had been kidnapped while on a job.

Hours before she disappeared, Papini sent a message to her husband, Keith, asking if he would be home for lunch, but he said he would not be.

She was then unable to pick up her children from a daycare center and was reported missing later that afternoon.

Keith told Good Morning America at the time, “Anyone who knows my wife knows there’s no reason for her to go … She was definitely taken against her will.”

A motorist then found Papini on November 24 in rural Yolo County, about 150 miles from her home in Redding.

She was emaciated and bound at the waist with a chain that was attached to her left wrist with a cable tie. Hose clamps were attached to her ankles in what the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office later described as “pain restraint restraints.”

Papini was also covered in bruises, her long blond hair was shaved off, she had a “burn” on her right shoulder and a broken nose.

“COVERED RUSE”

But in a statement Thursday, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California Phillip A. Talbert said the nearly six-year investigation into the case has found that Papini made up the whole story and even tried to harm himself in order to to substantiate their claims.

Investigators said they were able to determine Papini was dating an unnamed ex-boyfriend, who she had asked to pick her up and who was implicated in the ruse from the start.

The mock hijacking was reportedly planned on prepaid cell phones, according to an affidavit released by Talebert’s office this week.

Described in the report as an “attention-hungry woman” who had numerous affairs, Papini then allegedly spent the next few weeks at her former lover’s apartment, the ex-boyfriend confessed to police.

The ex-boyfriend also allegedly told police how he hired a rental car to drive her back to her family’s neighborhood for Thanksgiving Day 2016.

“When a young mother disappeared in broad daylight, a community was filled with fear and concern,” Talbert said.

“The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office immediately began the investigation and requested FBI assistance. Countless hours have been spent following leads, all in an effort to bring this woman back to her family.

Talbert added: “Three weeks later she was found 146 miles south of her disappearance and the focus shifted from trying to find her to trying to find her captors.

“Ultimately, the investigation concluded that there was no kidnapping and that time and resources that could have been devoted to investigating actual crimes, protecting the community and providing resources to victims were wasted because of the defendant’s conduct.”

Papini is currently facing charges of mail fraud and could face up to 20 years in prison.

She also faces up to five years in prison after being accused of lying to investigators.

Police say she made up the ordeal and stayed with a friend

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Police say she made up the ordeal and stayed with a friendCredit: Facebook
A sketch of one of the suspects she claims was abducted can be seen above

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A sketch of one of the suspects she claims was abducted can be seen abovePhoto credit: AP:Associated Press
She disappeared on November 2, 2016 and was found 22 days later

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She disappeared on November 2, 2016 and was found 22 days laterPhoto credit: aseng@sacbee.com

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17848816/sherri-papini-family-cops-ambush-arresting-kids-fake-kidnapp/ Sherri Papini’s family are blasting police for arresting her in front of her children over charges of ‘faking her own kidnapping’.

Bobby Allyn

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